If you are considering renovating your home, here are five projects to consider that will provide economic return, and increase the value of your home. Even if being environmentally responsible is not a priority, completing sustainable renovations will create a better place to live for years to come.
Roofing materials range from asphalt shingles, clay tiles, slate, and metal. And now the most popular roofing concept for sustainable construction is a living (or green) roof. This is expensive for a renovation; however there are other sustainable options. Black asphalt shingles contribute to the heat island effect of your home and harm the earth’s atmosphere. It also heats up the inside of your home driving up energy bills. Sustainable alternatives include replacing the shingles with a white metal roof, or slate shingles. White roofs reflect harmful UV rays, reducing heat island effect and keeping your home cool. Slate roof shingles last over 50 years compared to asphalt shingles 10 year lifespan.
Vinyl siding is often not considered an asset to a home’s curb appeal. It is also not a very efficient cladding for a home when it comes to making an airtight building envelope. Vinyl siding can be replaced with stucco, brick or stone. A more sustainable project would be installing cladding that has insulation built in. An exterior insulating finishing system can add style and energy efficiency to your home.
Replacing windows is a necessary task that is suggested by many energy audits on homes with original windows that are over 20 years old. New windows add insulating properties and eliminate air drafts when installed properly. When buying new windows look for vinyl or fiberglass that are double or triple glazed and include airspace. This project is sure to increase the value of your home and provide instant return on lower utility bills.
Flooring is a popular renovation made by new homebuyers. Raise the value of your home by replacing first floor carpet or vinyl flooring with attractive sustainable alternatives. Using tile in your kitchen and bathroom will emit less VOC’s that contribute to poor air quality. It will also provide a durable surface. Bamboo flooring is also a desired flooring option that is sustainable. Bamboo can be grown quickly and doesn’t require tree topping in forests.
John Noriega is an Architectural Engineering student at Philadelphia University. When not in class or working, he writes articles for sustainable construction and green home renovations. Check out the sustainable construction blog for product reviews and the latest insight to the sustainable construction industry.